The Government of Laos has set up a special committee to reform Electricite du Laos (EDL) as part of attempts to reign in bloated but underperforming state enterprises.
The committee, formed under a Prime Ministerial Decision, will be tasked with advising on ways to increase EDL’s revenue and pay off its debts, Vientiane Times reports.
Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr. Phouthanouphet Xaysombath has been appointed as Head of the Committee, while Deputy Minister of Energy and Mines, Mr. Thongphath Inthavong will serve as Deputy Head.
The Committee also includes the Managing Director of EDL, Mr. Chanthaboun Soukaloun, and other relevant senior officials and executives.
At a ceremony held to mark the formation of the committee over the weekend, Dr. Daovong Phonekeo, Minister of Energy and Mines, emphasized the important role played by EDL in the national economy.
He stated that reforming the state enterprise is critical in order for it to fulfill its obligations and respond to the requirements of the people.
A plan to reform state enterprises was laid out by the government last year when Finance Minister Bounchom Ubonpaseuth told National Assembly members at the ninth legislature that the Politburo and the Central Committee had instructed the government to resolve issues surrounding the country’s struggling state enterprises.
He said that committees would be established to see the reform of state enterprises, with state personnel no longer to be accepted for deputy positions at strategic state enterprises.
National Assembly members noted during talks that while in China and Vietnam, state enterprises have become the engines driving success for their countries, in Laos they make only losses.
The government said that investigations would be made into the heads of all state enterprises, especially those making losses under the same director for a number of years.
No information as to how the reforms will be carried out has yet been given.